This recipe for lemon bars made me think back to YEARS ago when our girls were in high school and I was perpetually in a rush. I started baking what I called “idiot cookies.” (Thanks to Peg Bracken’s naughty influence in her “I Hate to Cook” cookbook.) I know it’s completely politically incorrect today, but that was then and this is now. (It was the naughty 90’s, after all.) I’ve changed my ways and now I call them Desperation Cookies! Raise your hand if you’re still in a rush! I mean who isn’t?
Lemon Bars This Easy Shouldn’t Taste This Good But They Do
One cold November night I remembered my old trick and wrote about it here. https://gbskitchen.com/four-ingredient-desperation-cookie-recipe/ It’s been pinned more than almost anything else I’ve shared and that tells me we all live in a fast forward state of constant hurry.
But One Night I Was Just Too Lazy
Don’t get me wrong! Desperation cookies are awesome. I’ve made dozens and dozens to share at our grandkids’ ball games, potlucks, and family meals but then came the night I was bone tired and sooo done dealing that even “idiot cookies” were too much for me to face.
That night, I couldn’t muster the gumption to shape the dough into 36 balls. So, I just patted the dough into a bar pan. Guess what? It worked great! Ever since then, these simple lemon bars made from a cake mix have shot to the top of the chart as a favorite!
Does anyone remember Toll House Bars? Of course, you do because they’re amazing! Some “smart cookie” (I couldn’t resist) came up with the idea of spreading cookie dough in a bar pan and a classic was born! I figured this combo might work too!
The first time I tried making Desperation Cookies into bars, I used a yellow cake mix with toffee chips and they turned out great! After that, I was off and running!
You Will Need:
- Box of cake mix
- Vegetable Oil
- Chips of your coice
- Mixing Bowl
- Mixing Spoon
- Non-Stick Cooking Spray
- Baking Pan 11″ x 7″ or 9″ x 9″
Choose Any Cake Mix and Chip Combo
Whatever cake mix/chip combo you choose, the method is the same. What’s more, the possibilities are almost endles!!
Combine cake mix, eggs, and oil.
Stir it up and add chips.
Pat in sprayed pan and bake.
Bam! Along Came The Lemon Bars!
We all love lemon desserts so this extra little touch was a no-brainer! Of all the variations I’ve tried, this is the only one I glaze because they just cried out for a bit more tang! You can skip the glaze, it’s up to you! They’re delicious either way!
- 1 box lemon cake mix
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1/2 cup white baking chips
- 2 eggs
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp lemon extract
- Combine cake mix, oil, and eggs.
- Stir until blended.
- Stir in baking chips. Pat into a sprayed 7" x 11" bar pan or 9" x 9" square pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees about 12-15 minutes or until light golden brown.
- Mix powdered sugar and lemon juice to make a glaze.
- Drizzle over cooled bars. Cut and serve.
Don’t Stop With Lemon Bars
*Yellow cake mix + toffee bits! (Grandson’s buddy Brandt’s all-time favorite!)
*Yellow cake mix + cinnamon chips and cinnamon sugar on top! Busy day Snickerdoodle Bars!
*Spice cake mix + butterscotch or caramel chips!
*Chocolate cake mix + peppermint bits or peanut butter chips!
*Lemon cake mix + cherry chips!
*Strawberry cake mix + white chocolate chips or mini chocolate chips! (Oooh, Maybe this would be good with a little chocolate glaze!)
Let Your Imagination Run Wild!
After all, has there ever been a BAD bar cookie??
If you enjoyed this recipe today, please share it on your social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. I’d sure be tickled and ever so grateful, thank you!
If you haven’t already, check out my Facebook page where I’ll be posting easy, delicious and family-friendly recipes every week!
Love, GB (Betty Streff)